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Organic Vs. Paid Search Listing Clicks

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday October 22, 2011 )

If you’re not buying ads on search engine results pages, how much traffic are you missing?

PPC can be a big investment of time and money; both of which may be in short supply for the average online business owner. If you have good organic (free) rankings as is and you’re worried about how much you may be missing out on through not taking the PPC route – this may set your mind at rest a little.

It’s generally accepted that 80% of people who click after performing a search will click on an organic listing. However, a recent report from GroupM suggests it could be even higher, as much as 85%.

GroupM says the large proportion of organic clicks isn’t just on generic queries, but also branded ones; in fact even more so when it comes to buyers (as opposed to shoppers). According to their recent report “From Intent To In-Store”:

“For branded queries it is just as pronounced,with buyers clicking 64 percent of the time, broken out by 94 percent on organic links versus 6 percent paid.”

The report also states buyers are far more likely to run searches on generic terms rather than branded; with 86 percent of buyers using generic queries.

Interesting stuff. This doesn’t mean PPC isn’t valuable, but just not to stress out too much about it if you don’t have the resources to manage it effectively. PPC can certainly drive sales, but it can also be a great way to burn through money with little to show for it if it’s not done correctly.

The GroupM report also has some other interesting info on the search behavior of shoppers, so it’s well worth a read.

Just in regard to organic listings, if you’re interested in finding out the percentage of traffic each rank in the top ten listing attracts (on average), check out my article, Traffic Differences In The Top 10 Search Rankings.


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